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Oysters Sashimi Style

Oysters Sashimi StyleThis recipe from Kevin Dundon of Dunbrody Country House Hotel and Cookery School, County Wexford, is typical of the kind of dish you might expect at the Harvest Room Restaurant, or the informal Dunbrody Seafood Bar & Terrace – and it’s a great way to introduce oysters to your guests.

Don’t be put off by the thought of opening the oysters (see below); an oyster knife - a sturdy knife with a short blade - is a good investment if you like oysters and are likely to serve regularly.

Serves 4

12 Pacific/Gigas oysters
1 tbsp sesame seeds
about 225g/8oz coarse rock salt
6 tbsp dark soy sauce
finely grated rind and juice of 1 lime
1 tbsp shredded root ginger
1 spring onion, finely shredded
4 tbsp sesame oil
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

Scrub the oyster shells then place one, wrapped in a clean tea towel on a firm surface with the flattest shell uppermost and the hinge pointing towards you. Gripping the oyster firmly, insert an oyster knife into the gap in the hinge and twist to snap the shells apart.

Slide the blade of the knife along the inside of the upper shell to sever the muscle that keeps the shells together. Lift the lid off the top shell, being careful not to spill any of the juices. Carefully clean away any bits of broken shell and finally run the knife under the oyster to loosen it from the shell. Repeat until all the oysters are opened, then arrange on a tray and place in the fridge until you are ready to serve.

Heat a frying pan over a medium to low heat and add the sesame seeds. Cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring regularly until they are lightly toasted. Tip out of the pan onto a plate and set aside until needed.

To serve, arrange three oysters on a bed of rock salt on each serving plate. In a bowl, mix together the soy sauce with the lime rind and juice, then spoon over the oysters. Scatter the ginger, spring onions and reserved toasted sesame seeds on top. Leave to stand for 5 minutes to allow the flavours to develop. Meanwhile, heat the sesame oil in the frying pan and sauté the garlic until it is golden and the sesame oil is nearly smoking. Drizzle over the oysters and serve immediately.

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